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The Industry Buzz

The Industry Buzz features carnival, amusement park, fair and festivals news direct from the lots. If you have newsworthy information that you would like to share on, please email For full feature news articles and exclusive interviews, please check our news and interviews section.

Hurricane Irene Closes Dutchess Co. Fair Early
Hurricane Irene forced the closure of many events across the eastern seaboard including the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, NY.  The fair whos midway is provided by Powers Great American Midways, closed for the final Saturday and Sunday of the fair due to the hurricane warnings.  The Maryland State Fair (midway by Deggeller Attractions) is open and running a Hurricane Irene special:  2 for 1 admission and a $15 unlimited ride wristband when purchased between noon and 2pm.    Posted by Matt Cook on 8/28/2011

NAME adds LED Lighting Package to all Giant Wheels
When speaking with NAME Astro Fair Unit Manager, Pat Repp, he informed us that all of the company owned giant wheels and century wheels have been outfitted with the Rides 4-U programmable LED lighting package.  The Chance Century Wheel which travels on his unit will be the last wheel to get the package in the coming weeks.  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/26/2011

Bad Weather hits Missouri State Fair

Bad storms raced through Sedalia, MO last night and did some damage to the Missouri State Fair.  There have been reports of downed trees, power lines and tents.  Fortunately, there were no injuries to humans or livestock.  Wade Shows owner Frank Zaitshik reported that there was lots of damage, most of which can be repaired. It mangled the Enterprise back wall and Tony & Willie Lowerys Mardi Gras was pushed back 10 to 12 feet. Damage is being assessed and they plan on opening the midway during the afternoon.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/18/2011

Wade Shows Reports Record Weekend at the Missouri State Fair
Frank Zaitshik reported that his Wade Shows had their biggest first weekend in history at the 2011 Missouri State Fair.  Zaitshik is hoping to keep pace with last years numbers during the week and have another good weekend during the final days of the fair.  Zaitshik was also proud to announce that the third unit of Wade Shows is the first unit to convert all of their rides to LED lighting.  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/17/2011

Wisconsin State Fair implements a Guardian Policy in response to Mob Attacks

In response to a series of mob attacks at the Wisconsin State fair on opening night (Thursday, August 4th), the Wisconsin State Fair has chosen to implement a youth guardian policy at 5pm. This policy requires that all youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years or older. This policy will be enforced on all customers entering the fair after 5pm for the remainder of the 2011 fair. Rick Frenette reported Friday that there were 24 arrests and no reported injuries to fair goers, however, 7 officers sustained injuries.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 8/5/2011

Ionia Free Fair Canceled due to Flooding
The Ionia Free Fair (Ionia, MI) has been closed due to flooding.  The fair, which opened on July 21, was scheduled to end on July 30, however will not open the final three days.  Grand River levels and extremely heavy rain have forced the closing of all on-site parking lots, and have made it impossible to conduct fair activities. The forecast of additional rain (possibly heavy) could worsen the situation, and the possibility of additional flooding.  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/29/2011

IISA Museum Nearing Completion
Beau Pugh reported that construction on the IISA Carnival Museum in Gibsonton, Florida is about three weeks away from completion.  Although construction is almost done, he stated that they would likely not open the museum to the public just yet.  He added that they would like to add more exhibits and artifacts to the museum and also that New Yorks National Showmens Association is considering donating some of their historical pieces to the museum.  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/21/2011

Armstrong Shows adds Sky Wheel to route; installs LED lighting package
Armtrong Shows has added a Chance Sky Wheel to its route.  The Sky Wheel was sold to Armstrong by Dixieland Carnival, who originally purchased it from the Mighty Bluegrass Shows.  Armstrong was proud to announce the addition of a Rides 4-U Maxtron LED lighting package to the ride.  It will be the first Sky Wheel to be retro fitted with the programmable LED lighting package.  Posted by Matt Cook on 7/6/2011

Jack Cox has passed
MCW is sad to report that long time concession manager of the James H. Drew Exposition, Jack Cox, passed away on June 19, 2011 after a difficult battle with cancer.  Our thoughts and prayers to out to his family and friends.  Posted by Matt Cook on 6/21/2011

Tip Top Shows reports positive start
Tip Top Shows reported a positive start to their season during the shows winter route in Florida.  The show played the Santa Rosa County Fair last week which had a slow start but a strong weekend finish.  Much of the slow start was attributed to a change in spring breaks for the local schools.  The show will begin to head north and opens in Rockford, IL and Racine, WI next week.  Posted by Matt Cook on 4/12/2011

Chris Giordano elected 2nd Vice President of the Mid-West Fair Association
Shreveport, LA—The State Fair of Louisiana’s President & General Manager, Chris Giordano, was recently elected 2nd Vice President of the Mid-West Fair Association at the annual meeting in Houston, Texas. In this position, Giordano assists with site and facility arrangements for future annual meetings. The Mid-West Fair Association is an organization comprised of approximately 38 fairs across the country. The organization mainly consists of agricultural fairs, much like the State Fair of Louisiana, whose mission is to assist in developing the agricultural and industrial resources of the state. The Mid-West Fair Association also supports sharing industry information and best practices among its membership. “It’s an honor to be elected to the board of the Mid-West Fair Association, and I know my association with the organization will only lead to better attractions and practices at the State Fair of Louisiana,” said Giordano. The State Fair also celebrates the promotion of staff member Robb Brazzel. Brazzel has been employed by the State Fair for nearly three years, and he now takes on the role of Exhibits & Concessions Manager. His main responsibility involves recruiting exhibitors and concessionaries for the fair. The 2011 State Fair of Louisiana will take place Oct. 27 – Nov. 13, celebrating its 105th year in operation. The 2011 fair again promises an assortment of entertainment – from agricultural exhibits to carnival rides to unique food items.  Posted by Ron Weber  on 3/16/2011

Congratulations to Robert and Robin Briggs

Congratulations to Robert and Robin Briggs on the birth of there 2nd child Saturday morning.   Nicholas Patrick Briggs was born on 3/12/2011, weighing in at 7lb 8oz.  Nicholas will be a little brother to their first child, Robert Junior.  Robert and Robin own Modern Midways based out of Steger, Illinois.  Proud grandparents are Frank and Charlene Briggs, owners of Midwest Midways, and proud uncles Edward Briggs and Frank Briggs Jr.

  Posted by Ryan Vawter on 3/14/2011

Wade Shows finishes up 32% in Orlando

At the Central Florida Fair, Wade Shows finished 32 percent up over 2010. It was the shows best finish since 2004.  A new midway layout helped increased game revenue at the fair, even more than food increases.  This is definitely a positive sign for both the carnival industry and the game business.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/8/2011

Steve Ianni is the New Concession Manager at Powers

It was announced today by Powers Great American Midways that Steve Ianni has been hired as the shows new concession manager.  In pervious years, Steve has worked with Strates Shows, J&J Amusements, and Amusements of America.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/8/2011

Wade Shows has huge weekend at the Central Florida Fair

Wade Shows reported a huge first weekend at the Central Florida Fair in Orlando.  The show was up 22% after their first weekend, which was their best weekend in Wade Shows history of playing the fair.  Owner Frank Zaitshik attributes the success to the fair changing the dates back and also the phenomenal weather they have been having.  "I think people are adjusting to the economy, or that the perception is that the economy is getting better", stated Zaitshik.  He also reported "a tough start but a good finish" in San Antonio and that they were up over 11% in Dade City for the Pasco County Fair.

  Posted by Matt Cook on 3/4/2011

Setup pics for Dade County

Click here for set up photos at the Dade County Fair in Miami.

  Posted by Ron Weber, Editor on 2/28/2011

Top 10 Rides at the 2011 Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair has released its 2011 ride standings from the fairs 2011 independent midway.  The top 10 grossing rides at this years fair are:  1) FSFA/JOYCE - SUPER SLIDE $205,553;  2) SKY FAIR, INC - SKY GLIDER $195,289;  3) WADE SHOWS - HIMALAYA - HIT IN 2000 $146,224;  4) WADE SHOWS - GIANT GONDOLA Wheel $119,554;  5) REITHOFFER Shows  - SUPER HIMALAYA $107,160;  6) REITHOFFER Shows - VERTICLE SWING $100,159;  7) WADE SHOWS - ROLLER COASTER (RC48) $93,401;  8) DREAMLAND Amusements - HIMALAYA $89,872;  9) WADE SHOWS - FIGHTER $75,782;  10) WOOD Entertainment - MAGNUM $74,898.  To download a complete list, click here.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/28/2011

RCS adds Rides-4U LED lighting package to Grand Wheel
Ray Cammack Shows recently had a Rides-4U LED lighting package installed on their Grand Wheel at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Houston Texas).  To view a video of the new lighting package, click here.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/28/2011

Elliotts Amusements Purchases Cortina Bob
Elliotts Amusements of Michigan has purchased a Cortina Bobs for 2011.  The Cortina Bobs is a re-themed Fabbri Crazy Dance, which had its previous home on Powers Great American midways.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/24/2011

Modern Midways to play Pinellas County Fair (Pinellas Park, FL)
Robert Briggs announced today that his Modern Midways will be playing the Pinellas County Fair in Pinellas Park, FL March 31 - April 3, 2011.  2011 marks the fair's return to Pinellas Park as it has not been held the last few years.  The fair was previously played by Murphy.  Briggs also said he would be playing a Cuban Festival at the Hialeah Raceway for the first time this year.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/22/2011

Drew Exposition adds Wave Swinger
Drew Exposition announced that they added another spectacular ride to their show, a Wave Swinger. The Wave Swinger was purchased used and the show hopes to spend some time re-racking the piece onto pup trailers and give the ride a complete make-over before the 2011 season begins.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/21/2011

Tufano Amusements adds a Cliff Hanger to it's route
At the IISF Trade Show in Gibsonton, Deb and Anthony Tufano of Tufano's Amusements announced the addition of a Dartron Cliff Hanger to their route.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/10/2011

Wade Shows Gross up 9% in West Palm, crews battle frigid temperatures in San Antonio
Wade Shows reported a 9% increase in carnival revenue at the South Florida Fair, which ended Sunday. The show is busy setting up equipment at the Florida State Fair in Tampa as well as the San Antonio Livestock Show in San Antonio, Texas. Frank Zaitshik reported bitter cold temperatures during set up in San Antonio. It was so cold that water lines were freezing and employees were moved from their bunk houses into hotels with better heating. “The guys are doing an unbelievable job and despite the obstacles, the show is just about ready”. San Antonio opens February 3 and runs through the 21st while the Florida State Fair runs February 10 through the 21st.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/2/2011

Royal West Amusements signs Four States Fair
Todd Keenan reported that his Royal West Amusements signed the Four States Fair in Texarkana, Arkansas for a multi year contract. He plans to fill the midway with 40+ rides and will be in Gibtown looking to purchase a new spectacular ride.  Posted by Matt Cook on 2/1/2011

Altamont Fair - Expression of Interest for Carnival Rides and Games for 2012, 2013, 2014 fair
The Albany, Schenectady, Greene County Agricultural and Historical Societies, Inc., doing business as The Altamont Fair, is pleased to announce that it is requesting an expression of interest (EOI) to provide a carnival to include rides, games and a limited number of food vendors for our fair. We are an over 100 year old, three-county fair in the capital region of New York State. Fair goers come from a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas. The region’s economy is stable and people are willing to spend their entertainment dollar on quality family attractions. click here to download the official request.  Posted by Ron Weber on 1/17/2011

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